Nobody Comes By C P Singleton © 2016

There’s a man I know in limbo town

Who sits quietly waiting for a visit,

but Nobody comes. — It’s maybe not a big thing for those on the other side.

They make their excuses as they climb into their cars

To drive off to other’s doors,

Quite forgetting the sacrifices made,

Never seeing the tears spilt in the heavy silence of Sunday and

Blissfully unaware of the black curtain that falls across tired eyes.


Each new week and month passes slowly,

to find a new piece crack and fall

and gather at the bottom of the mediastinum and


Nobody comes.


I tell him to let go.

That he needs to realise it’s not personal.

He says to wait until it happens to me.

That I’m to remember him when I begin to stare at phones that don’t ring and doors that never open and

Then I will know that,

Nobody will ever come.

CP Singleton

via No. 3088 — Madstoffa’s crunchy house!




I pull to the east

pull my body to the west

peer through the window,

at the morning,

know that I am blessed.


Outside a bush where raspberries grow,

tender and pink on the branch,

make hurried thoughts, go slow.


Why do these patterned beauties

pull at me so?

Because they come from inside me –

delicate, rare, short-lived, fragrant.


Those soft berries

are my mother, my lovers private offerings

and most of all they remind me of a small often visiting pain.


They are my heart, tender, (tiny)

sweet, everyone’s heart. Wild, untutored, gorgeous.


And when you see them in a mess,

a tart or pavlova,

on a plate,

sprinkled all over,

think of my heart,

think of me; we.


Robert Karl Harding

Autumn 2012






Lego land.

At turn of year.

Some fur-clad wretch, cleaving to a

glut of memories, self-indulgence,

crests the hill.

Burn of hailstone freezes the brain.

From the mismatch of Audi drive and Barratt home

Slumber of reason keeps us in.

While outside horses eat themselves

And George Shaw cemeteries bristle with Gothic’s dark electricity.

The horrors abound in sight of clotted close, and cul-de-sac;

of the black hair and raven-infested trees.

They leave me creased with felicity.

I have bad blood and a lust,

to suck in storms spiralling

up the Atlantic.

Swallowed by a meagre ego wandering out in the winter at dusk.

The other choice;

Build life out of Lego,

Watch while other men live their dreams.


Blackened boughs, brittle, broken,

stare back from pavements.

The black satanic smoke of an industrial age long dead paints a slow, silent apocalypse.

Orbs of mistletoe tumble in the trees, mock their own abandonment.

In the graveyard on Battleship Hill,

distant cedars gather,

planted to shelter the dead.


Step away from hum of passing car,

effete people carrier;

Into the dirty gloom of light-abandoned days.

Lego. Steam issues from vents. L’ego. Bedecked with,

Twin receivers, twin irony;

Satellite dishes catch everything; solar panels nothing,

Under Geography’s egregious grimace.

A tiny view reveals itself, mile off mobile phone mast.

Climbing pretty, the five scarlet lights.

Steady rain sends streams down the pavements and away.




Paul Nash trees, stunted, two crooked sentinels guard the edge of estate.

Sounds of suburb;

Faint melt, rain tap on leaves, the feet of mice,

Oh you mice, I love you.

Alone; soundless here except for the whine-groan of the A road somewhere far off,

the feral shout of a child to its mother;

the sound forgotten before it is made;

high-altitude jet making haste.

From the hill, a measled scattering of lights,

The Tory blue light of the golf club in the distance.

Blinds and curtains cover private worlds.

The inner glow of Saturday evening’s variety show.

Forty-two inch wall-mounted.

Blood of a nation. Vague as weed.

Televisions. In them suspension of life itself.

The airy atmosphere miserly

Yet frittering everything away.

And over the hill the last ribbon of the day fades in the west leaving

Shadows of ten mile clouds.

Somewhere overhead the sky is blue.

The warmest colour.



Then again.

Shat on by one lot,

shovelled up by the other,

Four years have passed again – time for a change,

Indentikit houses rise in neighbourhoods vague as weed,

Squares of jelly in evaporated milk,

They crowd the hill of light.

Instead it rises from the motorway in the valley,

Distant twinkles of soul-wrapped fireflies.

While the minds gather at neighbourhood watch,

Neighbourhood’s only kin flock

At the hand car wash.

Poles huddle around the rims.

Pitstop it’s called;

Brakes, batteries, servicing, tyres

Cheaper than the Esso all-in-one automated?

From earthly labours we are freed,

Rolling along vague as weed.


Don’t they say the sky is always blue,

If you go high enough?


Robert Karl Harding

January 2014


Northern Teaist

red sky bridge Red sky at night, tea drinker’s delight…

It is early, and the street lights have just winked out, a polite cough of a reminder to the night that the day has up until now been waiting patiently, but has a lot to do today, so if you really don’t mind…

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Cool winds of similitude wash stellar plazas

blow silently across the city

and drift outwards from the centre

emulsifying idiosyncrasy,

Squaring circles, Erecting Order

rewashing Convention’s creeping shallows


Elixirs of history are buried,

No implants, programs, interrogation room,

Nodding dogs wear surrender like a plume,

of smoke, stringless marionette. All is slumber.


The ads roll through lives pixellated

like tumbleweed we go, vacuum-packed soul

In the mirror an enemy is seen.

Desire empties the air of promise.


When moving across municipal stone

a physics of alien power grows up all around

A sleeper, the trinity of economies rise through me.

Of network Of money Of sex.

But already it is sunset on the block.

and we are seated in our personalised cell,

Fear not, the guard will be along to clear

your ashes momentarily.


India2013 005 



The time is out of joint, curse the night.

Lying there awake, I’ll never set it right!

My credit card crunched,

Career eaten for lunch,

Couldn’t pay up front

the universe licked its lips.

Speed camera bills lined up.

And so it went,

I saw that I couldn’t keep up the payments on the mortgage.

The buyer knocked me down cause of the damp,

cracks in the wall, structural issues, no wheelchair ramp,

used whatever he could.

I said I needed this land on which to lie. He smiled and said

‘we’ll see’,

his eyes red, obsessed.

My patch of ground a week from being repossessed.


Six weeks later I had gone,

I left, went wandering,

first around the neighbourhood,

sharing the parks with downtrodden men drinking from shiny cans

then I went further afield, to the east, lonely, sharing parks with children black,

from smoky hovels.

I was not meant for worldliness,

instead I was given the world and verse.

I saw many sights and learned new wisdoms.

But missed my homeland.


Eventually the land called me back though it was my land no more.

The cricket on the green, spinster on sit up and beg,

lazy days and summer haze, brought me back,

tower blocks,

dinner party frocks,

empty summer traditions.


Poor England is all silent dread,

Wake up! No ancient feet here did tread,

At my patch of land beer cans had begun to gather again, and a pair of dead speakers

appeared in the garden,

and the branches of the sticky lime tree

crowded out the light.

I peered in through dusty windows

The damp had come into the kitchen in black spots,

the parquet flooring had tramlines scratched into it.


Ah I remember the gentle Japanese lady who once visited me here,

her careful polishing of the green tea cups,

I remember the hellibore I planted in the front garden,

the simpering fuchsia in the terracotta trough.


On a summer’s day I wandered down from the park.

The new owner appeared from his glimmering coupe

‘This is no longer yours,

why do you insist on hanging around here?

You are no longer the owner,

are you crazy?

Should I ring up the hospital?

You look brown,

like you been to Calcutta.’

Two big friends slipped out of the car,

‘I’ll have you done as a nutter!

I’ll report you to the police,

you are a criminal.

I, a criminal, an owner who tried to keep something for himself,

I felt my back hurt as I laughed.

And laughing I bent down,

Took off my shoes and socks,

Walked away,

with only the dust on my feet.





I raise my voice,

I’m violent.

Macho man.

To atone I’m silent.

The strong silent type.

Macho man.

You do the cooking,

your part of the continuing domination of every area,

All the great chefs are men.


You agree with feminists,

you are weak.

At 18 you reach your peak.

Sure we cause wars,

can be ineffable bores,

but I didn’t cause any

last time I looked,

broke no rules last time I cooked.


A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stop and stare.

I do stand,

And I do stare.

Now that I am old.

And see the night sky,

that is always there.

To watch the moon wax and wane.

To watch the sunrise in a plane,

When the sun comes up on charcoal grey,

clouds turn to white snow.

Once seen never forgotten.


Jean Margaret Harding

November 2013

My old mum and me

Darjeeling, spring 2013

india2013 020

Fanfare for the Dustmen


I’ve watched you do what you do

And love your balls!

To do what others wouldn’t,

That cigarette hanging from your mouth.

You are a man and no mistake.

Keeping us safe from rats, disease and the plague,

that rubbish a plague on my eyes.

If the bin stayed full, check the faces, the surprise.

I have seen rubbish burning in the streets at sunrise

rubbish tipped unceremoniously into pristine forest,

dumped out into rice paddy

beyond the house walls.

I have seen heroes,

collect it up

men and sometimes women with balls.

Face sooty from rice in the pot at breakfast

By the tracks.

They emerge in rags, chimney sweeps from

Dark satanic mills,

Their recycling while my western eyes drink them in,

Busting a gut trying to think them,

Trying to be a fly on their interior walls.

Getting the view from there.

There is no fanfare,

But I have seen heroes.

Afro-Caribbean Knock Knock


Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
A truth universe
A truth universe who?
A truth universally acknowledged that if you are,

brown and at home during the day you must be,

doing the devil’s work.

Knock, Knock!
Who’s there?
Voodoo who?
Voodoo you think you are? I’m the social worker,

and you’re Afro-Caribbean,

and unemployed,

so open up,

let me see if your children are still alive.

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Abyssinia who?
Abyssinia behind bars one of these days!

Knock, knock,
Who’s there?
Jocasta who?
Jocasta the pretty girl who goes with the rasta.

Knock, knock,
Who’s there?
Jocasta’s rasta.
Jocasta’s rasta who?
Jocasta’s rastafari,
but mi near eye is on you blood!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
ManU who?
ManU crossed the road to get away from,

earlier this afternoon.
State your business!
You are the 1000th person who crossed the road,

when I came along. You win a prize.
Which is? (I’m not going to like this am I?)
Which is  …  the opportunity to explain what you feel,

when you do that and then to compare that feeling,

to what I feel when it is done to me a 1000,

times when I walk along the street.

And finally one for the road.

Why don’t Afro-Caribbeans dream anymore?

I don’t know.

Why don’t Afro-Caribbeans dream anymore?


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